Lesson 1 Early Exploration
One thousand years ago, people who lived in one area knew very little about the rest of the world.
The Vikings were known throughout northern Europe as great warriors and sailors.
Historians have come to believe that the Vikings were the first Europeans to reach the Americas, about 1,000 years ago.
A Viking named Eric the Red and his crew set sail from Iceland and landed on an island that he named Vinland.
It was called Vinland because of the abundance of green vines found there.
Twenty years later, Leif Ericson founded the island now called Newfoundland.
Fierce battles took place between the Indians and the Vikings as a result of a land dispute. . . .
Almost 500 years passed before Europeans took up an interest in sailing across the Atlantic.
Three reasons: 1. Better ships 2. Better instruments 3. Desire to trade with Asia
What was in Asia? Silk, spices, perfume, diamonds, spices, rubies, pearls, and spices! (Did we mention spices?)
Traders knew of only two routes to Asia, both of which were very long and dangerous.
Some people thought that if they sailed west, instead of east, they could also reach Asia.
The first European to attempt this route was Christopher Columbus. (But he reached the Americas instead of Asia.)
Later, other explorers began to hope that they could find an all-water route to Asia by traveling along the north coast of North America.
Although none of them ever found this Northwest Passage, they were able to explore much of Canada.
English Exploration (1497)John Cabot, an Italian, reached Vinland. He renamed it Newfoundland.
French Exploration (1524) Giovanni da Verrazano established French claims to land in Canada.
(1534) Jacques Cartier explored the St. Lawrence River and founded the present-day city of Montreal.
Lesson 2 Settlements and Colonies
Many European fishing boats fished in the Grand Banks, an area near Newfoundland that was teaming with fish.
Europeans living in Canada traded with the Indians knives and kettles for fur pelts.
The king of France sent Samuel de Champlain to start a colony in Canada in the early 1600’s.